Some things you can’t apologize for…and that is really f*ing irksome.

Posted: 01/18/2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

So, I know this is really stupid, but the Lance Armstrong thing is bothering me. Really bothering me. Particularly my athletic side, which buys it the ticket to being blog material. Hold yourself, cause it’s about to get a little scarry in here.

One of the little things most people would not guess about me is that I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. Except, I know that my Pollyanna side is fragile and so happy and so hopeful – enough so that I keep her tucked quietly behind my ear to do her positive thing where the world (hopefully) can’t hurt her too bad. She gets to hide behind the rest of me -the running, boxing, can stop you with a look, me.

I promise, these two things – Lance Armstrong & Pollyanna –  are related.

Another thing which makes this more ridiculous that I promise is related is that I’m not really into cycling.  A casual ride on a bike, okay – but as much as I love to run, I have no compulsion whatsoever to cycle. My bike got stolen when I was 12 and I’ve never really forgiven the whole concept of bicycles for the trespass. Did I say my subconcious made sense? No.

But…but, but, but once upon a time, there was this guy that started getting a bit of attention on a big bike race because he was about to win it for the second or third time – in what seemed like a BIG FRICKEN DEAL – and THAT caught my attention. Because whatever your sport is, as an athlete, when you see another athlete making a real run on the achievement of a lifetime – you sit on the edge of your seat willing them every bit of energy you’ve got to cross that finish line FIRST – to meet that challenge – TO ACHIEVE BIG THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!! You invest, you hope, you cheer.

Pollyanna – she gets all over that shit! Her heart just swells to 3xs it’s pretty-big-anyway size. Next thing you know, she’s made you watch the next 4-5 Tour de France’s and gotten you into more than a few debates defending that athlete against any doping rumor that comes her way. “He’s passed more than 250 random tests of almost every known body fluid!” She says. “How could he do that if he was doping?” She says. “Why can’t people just let him be and acknowledge that he did something really incredible?” “And he started a foundation for cancer research! Would a bad dopey-Mc-doper start a cancer foundation?” She says.

Pollyanna – she just wants to see the good, the very best good, in everyone so badly.

Then – dude went and started doing Marathons & IMs. Now we’re talking my arena. Things that involve running. Not that I would ever be able to compete at his level – but he’s engaging in a sport I understand – AND HE’S ROCKIN’ IT!! So I follow along a little more. Maybe I do some cheering of my own.

Pollyanna & I – we got some good bonding in over Lance Armstrong.

But now – and seriously, why on Oprah? – I’m just sad. I’ve never met the man and yet my heart, my athlete’s heart, just fell when he finally fessed up.  Pollyanna – she’s damn near inconsolable. Me – I’m irked.

Right now, all I can think about it are the #2’s. Or 10’s. Or however many back in the pack it takes to find someone not using PEDs. Those athletes that busted their asses – to come in second or tenth through legitimate, legal effort – without any chemical help. How their accolades were lessened, how their moments on the podium were usurped, how they watched the endorsement deals & medals & interviews go to someone else when it shoulda coulda woulda mighta been them. Not that we athletes do what we do for that glory – but we do what we do for the glory, know what I mean? To achieve at our best possible level! As individuals. Whether it’s a 5k or a 10k or an IM. We push ourselves for the glory of pushing ourselves past what we thought we could do. And when we do it, applause is really nice! Those that pushed themselves as hard as they could without the drugs – coming in behind a cheat. My heart just aches at that thought. And then it gets mad.

To find out years later that the person you couldn’t beat though you tried your best was cheating – and the medal has been taken back – and maybe some of the money gets paid back – but your moment – YOUR MOMENT – when you should have been standing on the podium celebrating the achievement of your LIFETIME – you can’t ever get that. People in this country don’t remember second best. And when the final winners are determined  for these events, names are entered into history books WITH AN ASTERIK, no one is really going to care what their names are. Because the glory of the moment has passed. We’ve moved on. Lance stole their moment permanently – and there is no level of humility or apology that can fix that. 

There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, Lance Armstrong can do, as an athlete, that is not marred by this – and no apology he can make to the athletes he cheated that will ever be enough. It’s sad to see a hero made human – it’s worse to find out he’s not a very good human.

*sigh*

Pollyanna, I am so sorry. The fact that you believed makes you beautiful, even if you got crushed over it. There are lots of good people in the world – that compete honestly and with integrity. People who do good things. Keep believing that even if you can’t cheer on Lance Armstrong anymore, because it is very, very true. You cheer for that, and I’ll cheer for you.

Comments
  1. Steena says:

    I hadn’t thought about the 2nd, 3rd, 4th place people. Great point. That really is sad.

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